Sunday, December 30, 2012

This Week in the Family History: Dec. 30–Jan. 5

January 1
Barnabas Hankins married Sarah Fox in 1811 in a ceremony performed by John Bourland in Hopkins County, Kentucky.

January 2
John Emerson Goodloe married Elizabeth Pettus (his second wife) in 1849 in a ceremony performed by Rev. P. S. Lovan in Hopkins County, Kentucky.

James Dolphin Lanier died in 1959 at the Veterans Administration Hospital in Biloxi, Harrison County, Mississippi.

January 3
Isabella Jane Goodloe Hankins married Thomas Yates (her second of three husbands) in 1874 in Hopkins County, Kentucky.

Howard Doctor "Doc" Hopkins died in 1988 at St. Francis Hospital in Evanston, Cook County, Illinois.

Milton J. Taylor died in 1928 at the Pennington Infirmary in London, Laurel County, Kentucky where he was taken after a neighbor hit him in the head with an ax during an altercation near his home in Mt. Vernon.

January 5
James Arton Hopkins died of Lobar Pneumonia in 1933 at his home in Harlan Township, Warren County, Ohio.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Three Years!

3 Mosaic


It is unbelievable that I started this blog three years ago. Even more unbelievable is that it's still going. Barely at times this year but it is still going.

I haven't done a very good job of staying on track in 2012. This blog isn't the only thing around here that suffered from some neglect but I've made plans for getting re-focused in 2013. 

Here's hoping that works.

Photo used through Creative Commons License from Leo Reynolds at Flickr.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Blog Caroling

At this time each year, footnoteMaven rounds up the Geneabloggers for Blog Caroling. I'm sure all of the traditional carols will be covered so here's the Boss. I hope fM is ready to rock.

Blog Caroling logo by footnoteMaven.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Happy Birthday, Mama McCauley

Verda Hankins was born 128 years ago today in Hopkins County, Kentucky. 

Verda married John William McCauley in 1904 in Hopkins County, they settled in nearby Muhlenberg County, had 11 children and she died in 1942 from chronic heart disease. That was several years before I was born so I never knew my paternal grandmother. 

In 1946, my Aunt Vashti wrote "A Tribute to Verda McCauley." Her tribute was preserved in a scrapbook at the Pleasant Hill Methodist Church, the little country church near Greenville that the family attended. 

Pleasant Hill Church no longer exists and I have no idea what happened to that scrapbook but my mother had the foresight to transcribe Aunt Vashti's tribute during a visit to Pleasant Hill in the 1980's. It tells so much about the grandmother I never knew.

A Tribute to Verda McCauley
by Vashti McCauley Wells

Verda Jane McCauley was born near Providence, Kentucky, Dec. 1, 1884, spent her childhood days in Hopkins County, was the daughter of a General Baptist minister. Many times in those days she rode horse-back cross country with her father to fill an appointment, and at a very early age made a host of friends. She loved meeting people, and one of her best traits was making those about her feel welcome. She had a kind word and a smile for everyone. How often have we seen the faces of those who knew her brighten when she would appear for church service, after an absence of a few weeks on account of illness. She surely had her share of suffering while here on earth, but through it all she always managed to smile when you were by her side. She was faithful to her church, family and friends. Her vacancy can never be filed, we see the need about us more and more for consecrated Mothers such as the one we knew and loved. And may the Women's Society of Christian Service rededicate their lives for greater service, for having known a true friend and Christian, our Mother.
Of all the memories I hold dear
There's one apart from all the other
Clearer than the noonday sun,
The memory of my mother.

Her daily life was a written page,
And in memory we read
How she always offered a helping hand,
Or did a kindly deed.

She was numbered among the faithful
On her you could depend,
Was always so understanding,
Had a smile for every friend.

Just as spring burst fourth in beauty
Four years ago in May
While her favorite flowers were in full bloom
She quietly slipped away.

Away from all the cares of life
And the ones that loved her best
We've missed her so in these four years,
But God knew she needed rest.

I know she has a mansion
In that City built four square
And I know she'll be waiting,
For her friends and loved ones there.

Aunt Vashti's tribute was previously published here on 7 Jan 2010. 

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Tombstone Tuesday – James M. and Mary Thomas Echols

Friendship Cemetery, Forsyth County, Georgia

Mary and James M. Echols

Mary wife of
J. M. Echols
June 11, 1828
Aug. 22, 1899

In Memory
J. M. Echols
Oct. 20, 1818
April 8, 1892

Mary was the daughter of Jesse Thomas and Rebecca and the sister of Margaret Thomas Petty.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Aunt Liz's Birthday

Sisters, Vashti and Liz

Elizabeth Angeline McCauley was born 97 years ago today in Muhlenberg County, Kentucky.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The Historical Society of Forsyth County Rocks

On a recent research trip to Cumming, Georgia, I met my 3rd cousin, Jane Crunkleton. We didn't arrange this meeting in advance. Neither of us even knew the other existed before I visited the Historical Society of Forsyth County a couple of weeks ago.

Jane and I share 2nd great-grandparents, John R. Petty and Margaret Thomas. Their six youngest children went from Hopkins County, Kentucky to Forsyth County, Georgia to live sometime between 1876 (when Margaret died) and 1880. My great-grandmother, Samantha, stayed in Hopkins County. Jane's great-grandmother, Mollie, moved to Forsyth County. Five of the children lived with Margaret's sister, Mary Thomas Echols (and her husband, James Milton Echols). The sixth lived with James and Angeline Tribble. The Tribbles were not related, as far as we know, but they took in other children in similar circumstances over the years.

The Historical Society of Forsyth County is housed in room 112 of the renovated Cumming School building at 101 School Street in Cumming.

They have a great collection of photos and other memorabilia mixed around the room with books and surname files but their best resource might just be their volunteers – like Connie Pendley (above) and Co-President, Martha McConnell (below). 

Connie and Martha asked what names I was researching and when I mentioned Petty, they knew the basic story of children coming to live with their aunt and knew one of Mollie Petty's descendants—Jane. Martha called but Jane wasn't home. (Since you've seen the picture, you know that wasn't the end of her efforts.)

Jane hadn't called back by the time I was ready to leave so I thought we weren't going to have an opportunity to meet. My next stop was the Friendship Cemetery outside Cumming. Martha volunteered to go with me and it didn't take long to find all of the graves on my list. After the cemetery, I headed on to Duluth (about 30 minutes away) to be there for Georgia Family History Expo the next two days. While I was in Duluth, Martha talked with Jane and arranged for us to get together on Sunday so I made a detour back to Cumming before returning home. 

Meeting Jane was the highlight of my trip. I will forever be grateful to Martha for going to so much trouble to get us together. 

Monday, November 12, 2012

2012 Georgia Family History Expo – Day 2

The vendor hall opened at 9 AM on Saturday and classes started at 10 AM. Twenty-eight more sessions were on the Day 2 schedule. 

I started the day with "Research in the War of 1812 in the Deep South" presented by Robert S. Davis. He discussed available records, bounty land and pensions. During this session it occurred to me that someone (turns out it wasn't me but I made the mistake of accepting it without question) made an erroneous conclusion about the location of an ancestor's War of 1812 bounty land. I love it when I can start applying information presented by a speaker to my own research right there while it's happening. 

Drusilla Pair gave us ideas for projects that will engage the non-genealogists in the family in "Thinking Out of the Box – Creating Things with Genealogy." This discussion went well beyond the usual calendars, photo albums and books. She covered ideas from making quilts to setting up private family Facebook groups to creating productions like skits and plays. 

I again ended the day with a presentation by Tonia Kendrick, this time "Transform Your Note-taking and Remember Everything with Evernote." In addition to covering the basics of Evernote, she gave practical uses related to genealogy research like clipping information from webpages so you have it even if the web site disappears, adding images containing text to take advantage of Evernote's OCR functionality (you can search on words in the image) and clipping indexes and search results. 

Holly Hansen closed out another successful Family History Expo with door prize drawings. Among the prizes were an World Subscription and a week at the Salt Lake Plaza Hotel.

After the closing session, Drusilla Pair, Valerie Craft, Tonia Kendrick and I posed for a goodbye photo.  

For more about the 2012 Georgia Family History Expo, check out the other official bloggers. Find out about upcoming Family History Expo events around the country and subscribe to their newsletter at

Amanuensis Monday - Sale Bill, Estate of Houston G. Hankins

Sale bill of the property belonging to the Estate of H G
Hankins dec'd sold on the 22 day of Febry 1862

Mary Hankins one trundle bed and stead 1.50
Mary Hankins 1 Table .50
Mary Hankins 1 Safe 2.00
Mary Hankins 1 Bureau 3.00
Joseph Morton 1 Shot gun 2.00
Mary Hankins 1 Bed Sted 1.00
Mary Hankins 1 Clock .25
M. M. Morton 1 Crop cut saw 4.10
Joseph Loving 1 Crusher 5.50
W B Lovan 1 Wheat fan 12.50
Mary Hankins 1 Buggy 8.00
J. M. Lovan 1 Logchain .80
Richard Paris 1 fifchain .40
Matison Hankins 1 Saddle .60
P Prowning 1 mare 11.00
John V. Kinnett 1 pair of Gears 1.20
P J Graddy 1 plow .70
L S OBryan 1 plow .50
Matison Hankins 1 Cutting Knife .25
J. P. Loving 1/2 of a thrasher 9.50
Mary Hankins 1 sow & pigs 2.00
W. T. Noil 1 Crop of Tobacco 200.00
T. S. O'Bryan 1 Sheep .95
H. J. Davis 1 ax .75
John V Kinnett 1 cow 6.65

John W Lovan Admin

Hopkins County
Clerks Office County Court Augst 18th 1892

I, the undersigned, Clerk of the County Court for the County aforesaid
and Sucessor to Orlean Bishop late clk, certify that this sale bill of the
estate of H G Hankins dec'd was lodged in my office and as appear by
an official indorsement thereon was left for record on the 14th day of July last. Wherefore I have duly recorded this sale bill and this
certificate in my office

attest Sam B Greenfield clk

Source: Hopkins County, Kentucky, H. G. Hankins, Will Book 10: 509; "Kentucky Probate Records, 1792-1977," digital images, Family Search ( : accessed 29 October 2012).

Houston G. Hankins, son of Barnabas Hankins and Sarah Fox.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Veterans Day - Honoring Those Who Served

Orin Edward Taylor
Orin is my only relative (that I know of) who died in service to our country so he gets the top spot in this Veterans Day post. He enlisted at Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas on April 1, 1941, was a 1st Lt. with Company E of the 4th Ranger Battalion and died at the age of 24 on January 31, 1944 in Anzio, Italy during WW II. [1st Cousin, once removed]

David Hankins McCauley
WW II - US Navy 1944-1946

Joseph Lee McCauley
WW II - US Army and US Navy

John William McCauley, Jr.
WW II - US Navy

J W Dukes
WW II - US Navy
[1st Cousin]

Marvin Ray Dukes
WW II - US Navy
[1st Cousin]

Jason Gordon Lucas, Jr. (on right, my Dad on left)
WW II - US Navy
[1st Cousin]

Elmer Dennis Hopkins (on left, person on right unknown)
Pre-WW I - US Army 1911-1914
WW I - US Army 1918-1919
[Maternal Grandfather]

John Covey Hopkins
WW I - Career US Army 1905-1935
[Great Uncle]

Howard Doctor "Doc" Hopkins
WW I - US Army
Post WW I - US Navy
[Great Uncle]

Grant Hopkins
Post WW I - US Marines 1921-1924
[Great Uncle]

Jimmy, Elvie and Perry Hankins
in France during WW I
[Great Uncles]

James Bailey Hankins
WW I - US Army 1917-1919

Albert Elvie Hankins
WW I - US Army

William Perry Hankins
WW I - US Army 1916-1920

This post was originally published 11 Nov 2011. 

Saturday, November 10, 2012

2012 Georgia Family History Expo – Vendors

These are some of the vendor booths.

Vendors were set up in sections outside the classrooms 
making it easy to visit booths between sessions. 

Arlene Eakle, President of The Genealogical Institute, Inc., 
consulting with an Expo attendee.

FamilySearch's booth is always busy at any genealogy event.

and Georgia Genealogical Society (below) were represented. 

Visit the GGS website to learn what you can do to 
assist in their effort to save the Georgia Archives.

"Who Begat You" by AncestryGames can teach children about their ancestors. has beautiful charts. 
I won a fill-in Fan Chart!

2012 Georgia Family History Expo – Day 1

Holly Hansen, President of Family History Expos, welcomed a nice crowd to the 3rd Georgia Family History Expo Friday afternoon. 

The keynote "The Secrets to Research in Georgia" was presented by Robert S. Davis, Director of the Genealogy Program of Wallace State Community College in Hanceville, Alabama. If you ever have an opportunity to hear him speak, don't miss it. 

The rest of the day was filled with twenty-eight classes presented over four time slots starting at 3:30 and ending at 8:40. I was very happy with the four choices I made.

Jennifer Dondero covered sources for historic maps, like the Newberry Library's Atlas of Historical County Boundries and demonstrated overlaying them in Google Earth to identify property locations in "Georgia Land, Maps and Technology." 

My second class was also with Jennifer. In "Clueless? Maybe Not!", she presented a case study (and who doesn't love case studies?) showing how to use existing records to answer a question that can't be directly answered by any one record. 

Tonia Kendrick covered using spreadsheets to analyze census data and create research logs, mind mapping to brainstorm research plans and sort out naming patterns and note-taking apps to organize, store and access information in "Non-Genealogy Tools to Help Your Family History Research." Be sure to check Tonia's blog, Tonia's Roots, for posts coming soon detailing a couple of the spreadsheets she mentioned.

My final session of the day was "Content Planning for Genealogy Bloggers - How to Stay Organized and Never Be Without a Post Idea Again" with Tonia. I've struggled recently with blogging and hope to get back on track by the first of the year. Tonia had some great tips that will help me do just that. She discussed planning content in advance to avoid writer's block and using Mind-Mapping to brainstorm a topic into multiple types of blog posts.

For more about the Georgia Famiy History Expo, check out the other official bloggers and follow the hashtag #fhexpo on Twitter. If you are in the greater Atlanta area, there is another full day tomorrow at the Gwinnett Center in Duluth. 

Monday, November 5, 2012

Amanuensis Monday - Property for Widow, Houston Hankins Estate

Property Set apart for widow & infant Children

2 Beads [beds] & furniture
1 Flax Whi?eel [Wheel]
1/2 Dozen Plates
1/2 Dozen cups and saucers
1 coffee pot
1 Tea pot
1/2 Dozen Knives & forks
1 Table, and family bible,
1 saddle and its appendges, 1 bridle, eight chairs valued at four dollars,
all the pottry on hand ten head of sheep, all the cooking vessels valued
at two dollars and half, a sufficency of provisions including bread stuff and
animal food to susstain widow and infant children residing with her
one year all the bacon on hands and two sows and thirteen pigs in addi-
tion thereto, we allow the widow all the corn 2 horses two cows and calves
and all the fodder and wheat on hand, one ox one pair of gears one
plow & hoe

Jno W. Lovan
T S O"Bryan
Wm L McGuger

Hopkins County
County Court Clks Office August 18th 1862.
I, the undersigned, Clerk of the County Court for the Ciounty afore-
said and sucesor to Orlean Bishop late Clerk of this court, certify
that this allotment to the widow of H G Hankins dec'd was lodged in
my office as appears by an official indorsement thereon by OBis-
hop, as clk, showing that it was returned and to be recorded on the
14th day of July last, it is now, therefore, together with this certificate
duly recorded in my office

atts Sam B Greenfield clk

Source: Hopkins County, Kentucky, H. G. Hankins, Will Book 10: 507; "Kentucky Probate Records, 1792-1977," digital images, Family Search ( : accessed 29 October 2012).

Houston G. Hankins, son of Barnabas Hankins and Sarah Fox.